With the prevalence of the 3-4 system, more and more college defensive ends are finding that their paths to the NFL lead not in one but two directions. For many, if they have the requisite skill set, a move to outside linebacker is a possibility. But it doesn’t suit all.
Let me first offer my regretful condolences to Richard Lines (Con), our beloved fellow draftnik here at Universal Draft, who was flagged by airport security as an armed and extremely dangerous terrorist just as he tried to board a simple flight from a random Caribbean island to Orlando in order to fulfill his lifelong dream of seeing an East-West Shrine practice up close.
I have commented before that due to the proliferation of 3-4 defenses over the last few years, hybrid defensive players will be at a premium. I believe that conversion candidates for the outside linebacker position must possess three traits: base strength, fluid movement and lateral agility and the ability to rush the passer. There are few players that possess all of those criteria.
Well, for all intents and purposes, Shrine week is over. Most of the scouts and media typically pack their bags and skip town after the Wednesday practice. They don’t even stick around to watch the game itself. Tomorrow, the players will be back in shorts and jerseys.
Despite best efforts by the man (‘the man’ = Florida Highway Patrol) to keep me away from Shrine practice today, I arrived only 10 minutes late, wearing a green shirt. I wore the green because I had a premonition that Bill Parcells would also be wearing green, and I want to be him. Not just ‘like him’, I’m talking the full Single White Female obsession.
Yours truly broke in was invited to the practice field at Thunder Field across from the Citrus Bowl to watch the East and West All Star squads attempt to impress scouts en route to their appearance in the 2010 East-West Shrine Game.
Over the last two years there has been a new proliferation of 3-4 defensive schemes in the NFL. As such, hybrid outside linebackers have become more of a commodity. However, these players need to have several innate elements to their game in order to make the transition successful at the next level.
Athletes that are capable of being a mismatch at the Tight End position are not easy to come by. It’s a demanding position defined by multi-dimensional players. Knowing Jeff Cumberland’s story, I expected to find a one-dimensional athlete that wasn’t near physical enough to play at the end of the line and take on Defensive Ends. When I checked back up on him in the Cincinnati game, what I found was surprising.
I have previously mentioned that the senior Wide Receiver class wants for better talent. Even the good prospects generally have a lot of warts. Among those that are highly rated but have notable problems, is the do-it-all Jeremy Williams of Tulane. I cut up some tape of Jeremy from three of his games in 2009: LSU, BYU and Tulsa.
Admittedly, I’ve had a tough time trying to catch up on Vince Oghobaase this year. With him missing games against Georgia Tech and Miami, popping in and out of the lineup due to injuries, it’s been hard to find the man that was one of Duke’s greatest recruiting coups in school history. His draft stock seemed to take a serious hit. Heading into the year he was widely considered a first round possibility, but as the progressed year he dropped from draft relevance.